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Daily Chronology of Coast Guard History

1 August

  • 1799-Secretary of Treasury described the ensign and pennant authorized to be flown by revenue cutters as "consisting of 16 perpendicular stripes [one for each state in the Union at that time] alternate red and the Union of the Ensign to be the Arms of the United States in dark blue on a white field."
  • 1910-Alaska was designated as a separate lighthouse district, with a district office and depot established at Ketchikan for directing operations.
  • 1952-The Coast Guard released a photograph of unidentified flying object (UFO), taken by a Coast Guard photographer on 16 July at the Salem Coast Guard Air Station.
  • 1976-The communication functions of CG Radio Station Washington were transferred to CG Communication Station Portsmouth, Virginia.  As a result, CG Radio Station Washington was renamed CG Station, Alexandria on 30 August 1976.
  • 1979-The Marine Safety Detachment in Manila closed on 1 August 1979, marking the end of active Coast Guard presence in the Philippines.
  • 1985-The 49-year old cutter Ingham gained the distinction of being the oldest commissioned cutter in service when her sister, Duane, was decommissioned.
  • 1999-CGC Hamilton attempted to seize the Russian fishing trawler Gissar in the Bering Sea for fishing in U.S. waters.  The Gissar then attempted to return to Russian waters, whereupon a boarding team from the Hamilton boarded the trawler.  Soon thereafter, up to 19 other Russian trawlers surrounded the two vessels, thereby prohibiting the Hamilton from taking the Gissar to a U.S. port.  The Hamilton's boarding crew was removed from the Gissar and the Gissar was turned over to the Russian Border Guard vessel Antius.
  • 2005-CGC Jarvis returned home after a three-month patrol that opened cooperative international efforts between the U.S. and other nations of the North Pacific heads of coast guard agencies.  Jarvis engaged in officer exchanges and joint operations with Korean, Japanese and Canadian Coast Guards, the Russian Northern Border Guard and the Chinese Fisheries Enforcement vessel Zhong Guo Yu Zhen.
  • 2007-MSD St. Paul responded when the I-35W bridge collapsed in the Twin Cities.  The Coast Guard established a security zone around the collapsed bridge and maintained a presence for 20 days.  Boat crews from St. Louis, Milwaukee, Two Rivers, Wis., Duluth, Minn., Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., MSST 91106 (New York), Sector Lower Mississippi River, Sector New Orleans, Station Gulfport and Station Aransas assisted during the three weeks following the bridges collapse.

2 August

  • 1995-The 234-foot gambling ship Club Royale sank 90 miles east of Cape Canaveral, Florida, during Hurricane Erin.  An HU-25 Falcon from AIRSTA Miami responded to the distress signal sent out by the vessel's EPIRB, although the usual registration information did not come over the wire as a registered EPIRB.  The HU-25 located numerous life rafts and survivors in the area and a HC-130 and two HH-60 Jayhawks from AIRSTA Clearwater were dispatched.  The helicopters had been weathering out Erin at Fort Myers Beach.  The CGCs Confidence, Baranof, and Point Countess also responded.  The helicopters rescued eight of the 11 crewmen.  One body was later recovered and the remaining two crewmen were never found.

3 August

  • 1812-The Revenue Cutter Commodore Barry, a 98-ton schooner pierced for six guns under the command of Captain Daniel Elliott, along with the U.S. privateer Madison, were captured  by boarding parties from the British vessels HMS Maidstone, Spartan, and Plumper on 3 August 1812 "while lying in Little River," Maine after what the New York Evening Post noted was a "severe contest, in which a number of the English were said to be killed."  All but three of the crews of both escaped into the nearby woods.  The three cuttermen who were captured, though, became the first prisoners-of-war in Coast Guard history.  They were: Daniel Marshall, Charles Woodward and William Babson of the Commodore Barry.  The British destroyed the Madison but apparently utilized Commodore Barry as a tender.
  • 2013-The Coast Guard transferred ownership of the Cape Arago Lighthouse and grounds to the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians at a ceremony held on the lighthouse grounds southwest of Coos Bay

4 August

  • 1790-President George Washington signed the "Tariff Act," a bill Congress passed that had been written and submitted by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton.  The bill authorized Hamilton's to build ten cutters to protect the new nation's revenue (Stat. L. 145, 175).  Alternately known as the system of cutters, Revenue Service, and Revenue-Marine this service would officially be named the Revenue Cutter Service (12 Stat. L., 639) in 1863.  The cutters were placed under the control of the Treasury Department.  This date marks the officially recognized birthday of the Coast Guard.
  • 1854-Congress appropriated $12,500 for purchase of boats for life-saving purposes at a number of designated ports on the Great Lakes.
  • 1894-Facilities of marine hospitals were extended to keepers and crews of the Life-Saving Service.
  • 1949-Congress approved Public Law 207, which revised, codified and enacted into law title 14 of the United Stated Code.  This set forth for the first time a clear, concise statutory statement of the duties and functions of the U.S. Coast Guard.  The Act confirmed that the Coast Guard was a branch of the armed forces of the United States, confirmed it in its general functions of marine safety, maritime law enforcement, and military readiness to operate as a service in the Navy upon declaration of war or when the president directs.
  • 2008-The Coast Guard commissioned the new 418-foot Legend-Class cutter CGC Bertholf (WMSL-750) on this date in 2008. The cutter was named for Commodore Ellsworth Bertholf, former commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.  Bertholf was constructed at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems in Pascagoula, Mississippi.  It was the first of the new National Security Cutters built to replace the aging 378-foot Hamilton-Class High Endurance Cutters (WHECs).  Bertholf was assigned to its homeport of Alameda, California.
  • 2014-The Coast Guard and numerous county and local response agencies assisted in removing 296 people aboard a passenger vessel that ran aground in the vicinity of Tahoe Keys, California on 4 August 2014. At approximately 1537 local time Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watch-standers received a notification from Coast Guard Station Lake Tahoe that a passenger vessel, Tahoe Queen, with approximately 296 passengers aboard, had run aground. Rescue boat crews from Coast Guard Station Lake Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe, Douglas County, El Dorado County and Vessel Assist transferred all passengers and non-essential crew from Tahoe Queen to shore at Ski Run Marina in South Lake Tahoe. No injures were reported.

5 August

  • 1889-The U.S. Life-Saving Service issued a circular prescribing an appropriate outfit for the keepers and surfmen.  This was the first time that uniforms were required for the Service.
  • 1935-Congress passed the Anti-Smuggling Act, which broadened the jurisdiction of Coast Guard.

6 August

  • 1878-The last true sailing cutter built for the Revenue Service, Chase (Salmon P. Chase) was completed on 6 August 1878 at the shipyard of Thomas Brown of Philadelphia.  Barque-rigged, Chase displaced 142 tons and served as a cadet practice vessel for nearly 30 years before being decommissioned and transferred to the U.S. Public Health Service.

  • 1918-The first American lightship to be sunk by enemy action, Lightship No. 71, was lost on the Diamond Shoals station.  LS 71 had reported by radio the presence of a German submarine that had sunk a passing freighter and that message was intercepted by the U-104, which then located the lightship and, after giving the crew opportunity to abandon ship in life boats, sank it by surface gunfire. The lightship's crew reached shore without injury.
  • 1984-CGC Point Divide seized the HMAV Bounty, a replica of the HMS Bounty that was used in the 1984 motion picture "The Bounty," for customs violations.
  • 1997-CGCs Basswood and Galveston assisted in the rescue of the survivors of the crash of a Korean airliner, Flight 801, in Guam.

7 August

  • 1789-An Act of Congress (1 Stat. L., 53), only the ninth law passed by the newly-created Congress of the United States, was the first act to make any provisions for public works.  It created the Lighthouse Establishment as an administrative unit of the Federal Government when it accepted title to, and joined jurisdiction over, the 12 lighthouses then in existence, and provided that "the necessary support, maintenance and repairs of all lighthouses, beacons, buoys and public piers erected, placed, or sunk before the passing of this act, at the entrance of, or within any bay, inlet, harbor, or port of the United States, for rendering the navigation thereof easy and safe, shall be defrayed out of the treasury of the United States."  Prior to this time the lighthouses had been paid for, built and administered first by the colonies and then the states.  
  • 1882-An Act of Congress (22 Stat. L., 301, 309) required all parties owning, occupying, or operating bridges over any navigable river to maintain at their own expense, from sunset to sunrise, throughout the year, such lights as may be required by the Lighthouse Service.
  • 1927-Horace Alderman, a rumrunner, murdered two Coast Guardsmen, Warrant Officer (Boatswain) Sidney Sanderlin and MoMM1/c Victor A. Lamby, and Secret Service agent Robert K. Webster after Alderman's vessel was stopped by patrol boat CG-249 off the coast of Florida.  Alderman was eventually subdued by the remaining crew of CG-249 and arrested.  He was later tried, convicted, and hung at Coast Guard Base 10 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
  • 1939-"Suitable observance of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Lighthouse Service was called for by a joint resolution of Congress, signed by the President on May 15, which was known as Public Resolution No. 16.  By this resolution the week of August 7, 1939, was designated lighthouse week."
  • 1942-The landings at Tulagi and Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands commenced.  This first Allied invasion in the Pacific proved to be a critical battle.  Coast Guard manned transports, including the USS Hunter Liggett, participated in the invasion.  Many of the landing craft were crewed by Coast Guardsmen.  A Coast Guard officer, LCDR Dwight H. Dexter, and 25 Coast Guardsmen went ashore from the Liggett with their landing craft to set up a naval operating base on Lunga Point.  Signalman 1/c Douglas Munro, later killed at Guadalcanal, was a member of Dexter's command. 
  • 1958-A collision of the merchant tankers Golfoil and Graham in heavy fog in the entrance to Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island set fire to both vessels.  U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, and commercial units fought the fires for three days, searched for missing crewmen, and assisted in directing traffic through the area.  The CGC Laurel directed the on-scene operations.

8 August

  • 1950-The Coast Guard commenced a controversial program to screen merchant seaman signing on American vessels on the East and Gulf Coasts where the vessels were foreign bound.  Those seamen designated as "poor security risks" were not permitted to sign on.
  • 1985-The Coast Guard awarded a contract to build the 110-foot "Island-Class" patrol boats to Bollinger Machine Shop and Shipyard in Lockport, Louisiana after a drawn-out legal battle.
  • 2009-On this date in 2009, the Coast Guard’s first production MH-60T “Jayhawk” helicopter (tail number CG 6028) completed its first search and rescue operation off the North Carolina coast.
  • 2013-CGC Polar Star returned to its homeport of Seattle, Washington, following a two-month deployment where it conducted Arctic trials in advance of its upcoming Operation Deep Freeze assignment.

9 August

  • 1942-The Coast Guard-manned attack transport USS Hunter Liggett rescued the survivors of the heavy cruisers USS Vincennes, Astoria, and Quincy and the Australian cruiser HMAS Canberra that had been sunk the preceding night by Imperial Japanese Navy warships during the Battle of Savo Island.  The night battle, also known as the First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, was one of the worst defeats ever suffered by the U.S. Navy.  
  • 1950-Congress enacted Public Law 679, which charged the Coast Guard with the function of port security.
  • 1969-LTJG Michael W. Kirkpatrick, executive officer of CGC Point Arden, and EN1 Michael H. Painter were killed in action in Vietnam.
  • 1982-Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger approved the use of Coast Guard law enforcement detachments on board Navy vessels during peace-time.  The teams conducted law enforcement boardings from Navy vessels for the first time in history.  The first CG TACLET was assigned to the USS Sampson on 11 August 1982.

10 August

  • 1971-President Richard Nixon signed Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971, considered to be the most significant legislation in the long history of federal action in this field. The new act repealed most of the Federal Boating Act of 1958 and amended the Motorboat Act of 1940. 
  • 1990-The Military Sealift Command began loading equipment and supplies from the Garden City Port in Savannah, Georgia, to support Allied operations during Operation Desert Shield.  Coast Guard units, including reservists called-up specifically for this operation, maintained security zones and ensured the safe loading of the vessels.
  • 1993-Three vessels collided at the entrance to Tampa Bay, Florida.  The collision, with an explosion that shook Tampa Bay and shot a fireball hundreds of feet into the air, involved the tug Seafarer, pushing its 546-foot barge Ocean 255, which was laden with 235,000 barrels of petroleum products; the tug Fred Bouchard and its barge, B-155, which carried 122,000 barrels of oil; and the 357-foot Philippine-registered freighter Balsa 37, which was carrying 6,000 metric tons of phosphate material.  Small boats from ATON Team St. Petersburg and Stations Cortez, Sand Key and St. Petersburg, CGCs Decisive, Point Steele, Sitkinak and Vise, aircraft from AIRSTA Clearwater and a crew from MSO Tampa responded.  More than 300 Coast Guardsmen in total responded to battle the fire, oversee the cleanup, salvage and lightering operations.  A Marine Board of Investigation convened to investigate the accident.  There were no deaths or major injuries.

11 August

  • 1812-The Revenue Cutter Louisiana capsized and sank at her home port of New Orleans during a hurricane.  All hands were lost except for her master.

  • 1817-"The ship Margaret, which sailed on Sunday, August 10, 1817, for Amelia Island with a number of persons on board, supposed to be going out for the purpose of joining the pirates, was brought back by the RC Active, under the command of Revenue Captain John Cahoone, and anchored yesterday morning [11 August 1817] in the Bay.  The cutter fired several shots at the Margaret before she hove to.  It is said that she has also munitions of war on board." [Taken from the New York Gazette-New York Post, dated 12 August 1817.]

  • 1966-CGC Point Welcome was attacked in the pre-dawn hours of 11 August 1966 by U.S. Air Force aircraft while on patrol in the waters near the mouth of the Cua Viet River, about three-quarters of a mile south of the Demilitarized Zone (the 17th Parallel) in South Vietnam.  Her commanding officer, LTJG David Brostrom, along with one crewman, EN2 Jerry Phillips, were killed in this "friendly fire" incident.  Point Welcome's executive officer, LTJG Ross Bell, two other crewmen, GM2 Mark D. McKenney and FA Houston J. Davidson, a Vietnamese liaison officer, LTJG Do Viet Vien, and a freelance journalist, Mr. Timothy J. Page, were wounded.  Crewman BMC Richard Patterson saved his cutter and the surviving crew at great risk to himself.  He was awarded a Bronze Star with the combat "V" device for his actions.
  • 1974-President Gerald Ford signed into law the first bill of his new administration, a measure authorizing the Coast Guard to adopt modernized boiler and pressure safety standards on board merchant ships.
  • 1982-Members of a 7th District TACLET stood bridge watch aboard the USS Sampson, the first time a Coast Guard TACLET had served aboard a Navy vessel.  The SECDEF approved the use of Coast Guard TACLETs aboard Navy warships only two days earlier. 
  • 2014-CGC Bertholf returned to its homeport in Alameda, California, after a 140-day patrol. Bertholf deployed to the Eastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Central and South America in support of Joint Interagency Task Force-South counter-drug operations. During the deployment, Bertholf’s crew detained a number of suspicious vessels and suspects and seized more than 12,000 pounds of illegal narcotics. "Because our missions were a success, it made coming home even better," said CAPT Mark Frankford, commanding officer of the Bertholf. Crewmembers took time from the busy patrol to volunteer at an assisted living facility in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where they performed maintenance, upkeep and visited with the residents, many of who were elderly.

12 August

  • 1982- Coast Guard vessels escorted the nation's first Trident submarine, USS Ohio, into its home port at Naval Submarine Base Bangor, providing security for the sub's transit.  Coast Guard units guided the sub past a Soviet spy ship and 400 anti-nuclear protesters.

  • 1984-CGC Munro departed Honolulu for Tokyo, Japan to take part in a bilateral meeting between the Coast Guard and the Japanese Maritime Safety Agency.  While en route, the cutter conducted a Hawaiian Island and Western Pacific Fisheries Enforcement Patrol -- the first of its type ever conducted in the western Pacific by a 378-foot cutter.

  • 1994- "Team Coast Guard" was created when the commandant, ADM Robert Kramek, approved recommendations that integrated the reserves into the operational missions and administrative processes of the regular Coast Guard, "effectively eliminating the differences between the two service components."

  • 2015-CGC Stratton returned to its homeport of Coast Guard Island in Alameda, CA, after a 114-day Joint Interagency Task Force South counter drug patrol. While underway, on 16 June and 18 July, 2015, Stratton seized two separate self-propelled semi-submersible (SPSS) vessels carrying a total of 22,345 pounds of cocaine in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. In addition to the SPSS cases, Stratton interdicted six go-fast vessels smuggling more than 6,248 pounds of contraband. The Coast Guard and partner agencies operating in the Eastern Pacific Ocean near Central and South America have seized more cocaine in the last 10 months than in fiscal years 2012 through 2014 combined. In addition to the counter narcotics mission, Stratton’s crew conducted a broad range of operations including search and rescue, maritime surveillance, international partner building, and community outreach. While on patrol, the cutter’s multi-mission capabilities provide greater stability throughout the Western Hemisphere and protect our nation’s borders. While in San Diego, Stratton conducted one of the largest known cocaine offloads in Coast Guard history, with an estimated worth of more than $1.01 billion. The drugs were seized in 23 separate interdictions by U.S. Coast Guard cutters and U.S. Navy vessels with embarked Coast Guard Law enforcement teams in known drug smuggling transit zones. The Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Paul Zukunft, attended to commemorate the historic event.

13 August

  • 1954-Congress passed Public Law 584, resulting in the Coast Guard relinquishing to the Federal Communications Commission the responsibility for issuing safety radiotelegraphy and safety radiotelephony certificates and exemption certificates under the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea.
  • 1967-CGCs Sweetbriar and Cape Coral came to the rescue of Alaska Governor Walter J. Hickel and his fishing party after they began trapped in a cove by a heavy storm.  The cutters escorted the fishing party safely back to Juneau.

14 August

  • 1848-Congress appropriated $10,000 for life saving stations and apparatus between Sandy Hook and Egg Harbor; the first funds to be expended under supervision of Revenue Cutter Service. $5000 appropriated in 1847 for saving life from shore was turned over to Collector of Customs at Boston to acquire boathouses and equipment on Cape Cod for Massachusetts Human Society. (See March 3, 1847)

15 August

  • 1914-At the request of the Secretary of the Department of Commerce, Congress extended the Sponge Fishing Act and directed its enforcement to the Revenue Cutter Service on the request of the Secretary of Commerce.
  • 1943-Coast Guardsmen participated in the invasion of Vella La Vella, Solomon Islands.
  • 1944-Coast Guardsmen participated in the invasion of Southern France.
  • 1969-The Coast Guard LORAN Station at Tan My became fully operational as part of Operation Tight Reign in Vietnam.  Also on this date in 1969, the last two cutters of Coast Guard Squadron One (RONONE) in service in Vietnam, CGC Point Marone and Point Cypress, were transferred to the Navy of the Republic of Vietnam.  Division 13 and Coast Guard RONONE were disestablished.

16 August

  • 1918-Keeper John Allen Midgett and his crew of five from Station No. 179 at Chicamacomico, North Carolina rescued the crew of the mined British tanker SS Mirlo.  All but one of the lifesavers were named Midgett and each received the Gold Lifesaving Medal for their actions.  
  • 1941-The Honolulu Coast Guard District was transferred to the Navy.
  • 1999-For the first time weapons were fired from a Coast Guard HITRON helicopter "to execute the interdiction of a maritime drug smuggler."

17 August

  • 1929-Horace Alderman, convicted of murdering two Coast Guardsmen and a Secret Service agent in 1927, was hanged at Coast Guard Base 10 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  He was the only person ever executed on a Coast Guard shore station.
  • 1990-At the request of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Transportation and the Commandant of the Coast Guard committed Coast Guard boarding teams to operation Desert Shield.  Other Coast Guardsmen, however, were already serving in the Gulf.

18 August

  • 1899-Surfman Rasmus S. Midgett of the Gull Shoal Life-Saving Station in North Carolina single-handedly rescued 10 people from the grounded barkentine Priscilla.  Midgett was awarded the Gold Life-Saving Medal for his heroic actions. 
  • 1941-The Coast Guard was charged by Congress with enforcing a law to protect war-lanes in Alaskan waters.
  • 1983-Hurricane Alicia came ashore at Houston, Texas.  Coast Guard units responded to calls for assistance.
  • 2006-CGC Eagle helped to rescue nearly 100 West African migrants who were found drifting in a disabled vessel 35 miles off the south coast of Tenerife, Canary Island.

19 August

  • 1898-About 8 p.m. the keeper of life-saving station was notified by one of the crew of a quarantine boat that cries for help were heard coming from the channel opposite the station.  The crew immediately launched the surfboat and pulled Into the darkness.  As they proceeded they heard the cries for help and pulled in their direction until they found a boat capsized and one man clinging to her bottom.  They hauled him in and he informed them that he and three others were returning from a hunting trip in the sloop, Jennie, when she capsized in a sudden squall.  The other men were rescued by the yawl from the quarantine station.  When she capsized the anchor went overboard, securely anchoring her; consequently the keeper decided not to attempt to right her until morning.  At daylight the surfmen returned to her, righted and bailed her out.
  • 1994-Operation Able Vigil commenced during a massive influx of Cuban migrants fleeing Cuba.  It was the "largest joint peace-time operation" in Coast Guard history, according to the Commandant, ADM Robert Kramek.

20 August

  • 1984-A fire broke out in a stateroom aboard the 506-foot cruise ship Scandanavian Sea while the vessel was five miles off the Florida coast.  The 744 passengers were mustered on the weather decks while the cruise ship's captain headed his vessel towards Port Canaveral.  Coast Guardsmen from CGCs Diligence, Reliance and Steadfast; Stations Port Canaveral and Ponce De Leon Inlet; MSO Jacksonville; Group Mayport; the Gulf and Atlantic Strike Teams were ordered to Port Canaveral to help extinguish the blaze while a small boat from Station Port Canaveral got underway to escort the cruise ship to port.  Local fire fighters also took part and ultimately over 150 Coast Guardsmen participated.  It still took two days to extinguish the fire.  One crewman and one passenger were killed and the vessel suffered extensive fire damage.

21 August

  • 1968-CGC Point Verde reported that she had received a call from the Chevron Oil Company in Venice, Louisiana, reporting that an oil rig, approximately 25 miles east of Grant Isle, Louisiana, had a blowout and was on fire. The exact number of persons on board the rig at that time was unknown.  Two Coast Guard helicopters and CGC Point Sal were dispatched.  Several private vessels and oil company helicopters were already on the scene.  A Coast Guard helicopter transported three injured persons to the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital in New Orleans and several oil company helicopters transported persons to other hospitals.  The Coast Guard helicopter returned to the scene and along with Point Sal, a 53-footer, and another Coast Guard helicopter conducted a search for persons in the water.  The number of persons on board was determined to be 33 with 23 definitely accounted for, five confirmed missing, and five reported accounted for, but not confirmed.  Two people were known dead with 12 having been hospitalized.
  • 1972-VTS San Francisco went on-line as the nation's first Vessel Traffic Service.  Originally called a Vessel Traffic System, the VTS evolved from the experimental San Francisco Harbor Advisory Radar project and became an official Coast Guard function when the Ports and Waterways Safety Act became law in 1972.

22 August

  • 1816-RC Active, under the command of Revenue Captain Steven White and acting under orders of the Collector at Baltimore, took possession of the Spanish brig Servia, recently departed from Baltimore, which was anchored in the Patuxent River.  The Servia had been captured by an American privateer and Active was ordered to arrest the Servia and return it to Baltimore for examination.
  • 1944- The Liberty ship SS Alexander V. Frazer, named for the first commandant of the Revenue Cutter Service, was launched.

  • 1994- The Coast Guard icebreaker CGC Polar Sea and the CCCS Louis S. Ste Laurent became the first "North American surface ships" to reach the North Pole.  An HH-65A from Aviation Training Center Mobile, detached to the Polar Sea, became the first U.S. (and also Coast Guard) helicopter to reach the pole as well.

23 August

  • 1820-U.S. newspapers began reporting that the Revenue Cutter Louisiana captured four pirate vessels during a cruise the previous month.  Revenue Cutter Captain Loomis was quoted as writing: "I arrived here [Belize] after a short cruise of 20 days on the 17th [of July, 1820].  I have succeeded in taking four more Pirates, which I have now in confinement. . .I have about $4,000 worth of dry goods which they have robbed and were endeavoring to smuggle into the United States.  They have some negroes which had landed but have been followed and taken.  I took these fellows 250 miles to the Westward of this River."
  • 1893-"This was the first instance in the history of the United States Light-House Establishment in which a light-ship has foundered at her moorings," reported the Lighthouse Board, when Lightship No. 37 was lost in rough seas at her station at Five Fathom Bank off the entrance to Delaware Bay.  Four of her six crew were lost in the tragedy.
  • 1979-The keel of the first of the new 270-foot class medium endurance cutters, CGC Bear, was laid at the Tacoma Boatbuilding Company in Tacoma, Washington.
  • 1993-CGC Yocona hosted the Russian icebreaker Aisberg for the first ever joint Russian-U.S. search and rescue exercise.  The exercise was based out of Kodiak and involved three aircraft from Air Station Kodiak, two Russian aircraft, the Aisberg, and the cutters Chase and Ironwood.
  • 1994-A new record for people rescued at sea was set on 23 August 1994 when 3,253 Cubans were saved from dangerously overloaded craft by the Coast Guard during Operation Able Vigil.
  • 2005-Tropical Depression 12 was first identified by the National Hurricane Center forming 175 miles southeast of Nassau.  The storm would become Hurricane Katrina.

24 August

  • 1912-Congress gave effect to the convention between United States, Great Britain, Japan and Russia prohibiting taking of fur seals and sea otters in the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea by authorizing the President "to cause a guard or patrol to be maintained in the waters frequented by the seal herd or herds of seal otter. "  The President tasked the Revenue Cutter Service with carrying out this patrol.
  • 1990-Coast Guard Grumman E2C, #3501, assigned to CGAS St. Augustine, crashed during a landing at Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, killing all four crewmen on board.  They were: LT Duane E. Stenbak, LTJG Paul E. Perlt, LT Craig E. Lerner, and AT1 Matthew H. Baker.  CGAS St. Augustine was disbanded soon thereafter and the remaining E2Cs were returned to the Navy.
  • 1996-CGC Hamilton safely rescued the seven crewmen from fishing vessel Moriah after it sank 200 miles west of Adak.

25 August

  • 1945-CGC Magnolia was rammed amidships on 25 August 1945 by the cargo ship SS Marguerite Lehand off Mobile Bay.  She sank in two minutes and one of her crew was killed.  The other 49 were rescued.  Those survivors cross-decked to the new tender CGC Salvia (WAGL-400) which then took Magnolia's place.
  • 1950-SS Benevolence collided with SS Mary Luckenbach.  CGC Gresham and other vessels responded and rescued 407 persons.
  • 1971-The Secretary of Transportation announced the awarding of a contract to the Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company of Seattle, Washington, "to build the world’s most powerful icebreaker for the US Coast Guard," Polar Star, the first of two "Polar-Class" icebreakers.
  • 2005-Hurricane Katrina made landfall between Hallandale Beach and Aventura, Florida, as a Category 1 hurricane.  Four days later it came ashore again near Empire, Buras and Boothville, Louisiana.  The rescue and response effort was one of the largest in Coast Guard history.

26 August

  • 1992- Hurricane Andrew struck Florida and the Gulf coast states causing extensive damage.  Coast Guard units conducted search and rescue, relief, and transport operations.

27 August

  • 1942-CGC Mojave rescued 293 men from the torpedoed transport SS Chatham in the Strait of Belle Isle.
  • 1999- A boarding team from CGC Munro discovered 172 illegal Chinese migrants aboard the fishing vessel Chih Yung off the coast of Mexico.
  • 2008-CGC Dallas, while deployed as part of the U.S. Navy's 6th Fleet, delivered 76,000 pounds of humanitarian relief supplies as part of  "Operation Assured Delivery" to the port of Bat'umi, Georgia after that country was attacked by Russia.

28 August

  • 1916-An Act of Congress (39 Stat. L., 536, 538) provided that "light keepers and assistant light keepers of the Lighthouse Service shall be entitled to medical relief without charge at hospitals and other stations of the Public Health Service under the rules and regulations governing the seamen of the merchant marine."
  • 1919-President Woodrow Wilson signed Executive Order 3160 which returned the Coast Guard to the administrative control of the Treasury Department from the Navy after World War I.
  • 1963-As soon as two U.S. Air Force KC-135 tanker aircraft became reported as overdue at their destination, Homestead Air Force Base, Florida, the U.S. Coast Guard Eastern Area Commander initiated an intensive air search.  It lasted through 2 September with as many as 25 U.S. Coast Guard, Air Force, and Navy planes participating.  None of the 11 occupants of the two KC-135's were ever found, only wreckage, indicating that there had been a midair collision.
  • 1995-A request from the Commander in Chief of Naval Forces Europe led to the deployment of CGC Dallas to the Mediterranean.  She departed Governors Island on 29 May 1995 and visited ports throughout the Mediterranean and Black Sea, including Istanbul and Samsun in Turkey; Durres, Albania; Varna, Bulgaria; Constanta, Romania; Koper, Slovenia; Taranto, Italy; and Bizerte, Tunisia.  The crew trained with naval and coast guard forces in each country. She deployed for a few days with the Sixth Fleet and served as a plane guard for USS Theodore Roosevelt.  The crew was also able to coordinate schedules with six NATO and non-NATO nations to conduct boardings.  She returned to the U.S. in August and arrived at Governors Island on 28 August.
  • 2015-CGC Sequoia returned to Guam following a 25-day deployment in the Western Pacific Ocean in support of fisheries enforcement and humanitarian efforts.  When first departing Guam on 3 August, the crew was diverted to Tanapag Harbor, Saipan, to deliver critical relief aid and support personnel to assist in the aftermath of Typhoon Soudelor. The crew weathered 10-foot seas and 30 mph winds to transport members from the Army National Guard, Mobil Oil's disaster and spill response team, the U.S. Marshal Service, and the Commonwealth Utility Corporation. Due to storm damage to Saipan’s airport, military sealift and airlift were the only means of getting needed personnel and resources onto the island in the initial days of the response.  Once on scene, Sequoia crewmembers went to work surveying the harbor channel and fixing vital aids to navigation used by professional mariners to transit into and out of Tanapag Harbor, Saipan’s only deepwater port.  Within just two days, Sequoia’s crew restored and verified all 14 aids were on station and functioning properly, allowing for the reopening of the port and the delivery of vital relief aid by military and merchant ships.  Transitioning to its original mission of this patrol, the crew and their two embarked Federated States of Micronesia shipriders conducted boardings of fishing vessels under the FSM-U.S. bilateral fisheries enforcement agreement. Patrolling the Federated States of Micronesia exclusive economic zone, Sequoia traveled over 4,068 miles and conducted 10 law enforcement boardings, as well as providing deterrence for illegal fishing activity and strengthening international partnerships.
    On their voyage back to Guam, Sequoia’s crew took the opportunity to deliver humanitarian aid to Onoun Island, Namonuito Atoll, Federated States of Micronesia. Using their two small boats, the crew delivered nearly 10,000 pounds of aid donated by the Ayuda Foundation, including powdered milk, books and educational material, fishing equipment, and medical supplies. In addition, due to a rainwater shortage on the island, the crew also used the cutter’s potable water reserves to fill nearly 100 containers with fresh drinking water. While ashore, Sequoia’s medical personnel attended to several injuries and medical ailments amongst the island’s 500 residents, including cleaning wounds and delivering much needed medical supplies to the island's in-resident medical assistant.

29 August

  • 1916-The Secretary of the Treasury was authorized to procure three light craft river steamboats, including lifeboats and other necessary lifesaving appliances and equipment for rescuing lives and property and distributing food and clothing to marooned people during Mississippi and Ohio River floods.  The vessels acquired were the 182-foot stern-wheel propelled river steamers CGC Kankakee and Yocona.
  • 1916-Congress authorized the Treasury Department to establish ten Coast Guard air stations but appropriated only $7,000 for an instructor and assistant.  Appropriation for their construction and for aircraft was not made until 1924.
  • 1916-A naval appropriations act (39 Stat. L., 556, 602) provided for the first time the mobilization of the Lighthouse Service in time of war by authorizing the President, "…whenever in his judgment a sufficient national emergency exists, to transfer to the service and jurisdiction of the Navy Department, or of the War Department, such vessels, equipment, stations and personnel of the Lighthouse Service as he may deem to the best interest of the country."
  • 1980-The Coast Guard and the Royal Navy signed a Personnel Exchange Agreement.  The first exchange between the two services were helicopter pilots.  The pilots were assigned to RNAS Culdrose and CGAIRSTA Miami.
  • 2005-Hurricane Katrina made a second landfall in the U.S., this time near Empire, Buras and Boothville, Louisiana after first previously coming ashore along the coast at Southeast Florida on 25 August.  The rescue and response effort was one of the largest in Coast Guard history, involving units from every district, saving 24,135 lives and conducting 9,409 evacuations.

30 August

  • 1852-Congress passed the Steamboat Act which established the Steamboat Inspection Service under the control of the Treasury Department (10 Stat. L., 1852).  The Act provided for the appointment, by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, of nine supervising  inspectors.  These men, experts in the construction and operation of commercial craft, were paid by the Government.  They were to meet once a year for the purpose of consultation and the promulgation of regulations governing the administration of the applicable laws, assigned territory being covered by each of them.  Local inspectors, acting under the supervising inspectors, were authorized to issue licenses to engineers and pilots of passenger vessels.  Inspectors were now on salary, the amount depending on the number of vessels inspected in each district, the source of which was receipts from fees for inspections and licenses.
  • 1872-The Neptune Line steamer Metis sank in 30 minutes off Watch Hill, Rhode Island.  Of 104 passengers and 45 crew, only 33 survived.  A coasting schooner struck the Metis, which had a full passenger list and cotton cargo bound for New England textile mills.  Captain Daniel Larkin (retired light keeper and one of the first Life-Saving Station captains), Captain Jared Crandall (light keeper), and lifeboat crewmen Albert Crandall, Frank Larkin, and Byron Green launched from the Life-Saving station.  Boat Captain John Harvey and crewmen Courtland Gavitt, Edward Nash, Eugene Nash, and William Nash saw the collision and launched a fishing seine from the beach.  The lifeboat and seine rescued 32.  Revenue cutter Moccasin from Stonington, Connecticut, met the boats, took their passengers, and located a survivor.  The Moccasin and seine continued to search until dark.  Participants were awarded Certificates of Heroism from the Massachusetts Humane Society and gold medals, minted to commemorate the rescue, by Congressional resolution, February 24, 1873.  The event signified the growing interaction among the members of the Life-Saving Service, the Lighthouse Service, and the Revenue Cutter Service, a factor that led to the later merger of the three services.
  • 1941-Coast Guard JRF-1 Grumman "Goose" V-184 was sent to Midland, Texas, for a photographic flight in cooperation with the Agricultural Adjustment Administration.

31 August

  • 1819-The Revenue cutters Alabama and Louisiana captured the privateer Bravo in the Gulf of Mexico.  Bravo's master, Jean Le Farges -- a lieutenant of Jean Lafitte -- was later reportedly hanged from Louisiana's yardarm.  The cutters then sailed for Patterson's Town on Breton Island to destroy the notorious pirates' den there.
  • 1852-Congress created the Lighthouse Board and charged it with administering the Lighthouse Service, as the Revenue Cutter Service was again decentralized.  The board was comprised of Army and Navy officers, and civilian scientists.  The board's creation led to a number of important changes in the way ocean and coastal navigation was administered.
  • 2015-The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection interdicted approximately 15,000 pounds of cocaine and detained four suspects from a self-propelled semi-submersible vessel in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico. A CBP Office of Air and Marine P-3 Maritime Patrol Aircraft tracked the 50-foot vessel while on routine patrol in the region. CGC Bertholf, also on patrol in the area, was alerted to the suspicious vessel. The cutter launched two Over-the-Horizon Long-Range Interceptor boat crews to intercept and board the vessel. Upon approach of the boarding teams, four suspected smugglers exited the hull. Boarding team members retrieved bales and loose bricks of contraband from the semi-submersible that tested positive for cocaine. The seized contraband was worth an estimated $227 million. After the suspected smugglers and contraband were removed from the semi-submersible the craft was sunk as a hazard to navigation.

Last Modified 1/12/2016